Air Fryer Recommendation

Matryeshka

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14,668
I am planning on buying my mom an Air Fryer for Christmas. She’s wanted one for a while, so I guess I should go ahead and get her one, but I have no idea where to start, and the reviews and prices are all over the map. Some parameters:

1.I don’t want to spend more than $70 because I’m a) cheap and b) my mom is hit-or-miss on appliances. She used her Instapot A LOT, so I feel good about splurging on that purchase BUT her apt is littered with appliances she used twice and never again (and refuses to part with).

2. It needs to be light, weight-wise and easy to operate and clean, as my mom is older and physically weak.

3. She lives in an apartment so space/storage is at a premium so it needs to be smallish.The most she’d ever be cooking for would be four people, and usually only two—how many quarts would be appropriate for that?

4. She will probably use it mainly for fries and chicken—nothing really fancy. Basic food. Maybe the occasional onion ring.

TIA!
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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44,499
We have a Black and Decker. It's just right for two people. My husband says people complain that the numbers on the dial are small but almost everything he cooks requires the dial to be turned up all the way so it doesn't bother him.

He mostly cooks meat, tator tots, sweet potato fries and regular fries. So a lot like what your mom will use it for.
 

nnaathaniel

New Member
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1
I live by myself, so I bought a 5.8-quart air fryer. It is really convenient. It can be controlled remotely and can operate the air fryer with a magical APP. Wow, technology is really great.
I bought it from this post on the air fryer, you can take a look, I hope it will help you.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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13,811
I want to buy one. It sounds so great. Then I try to pick one out....my mind just explodes
 

Japanfan

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24,811
I want to buy one. It sounds so great. Then I try to pick one out....my mind just explodes

I must be really old-fashioned, but I feel no need for an air fryer. Traditional cooking methods work just fine for me. I enjoy the rituals of roasting birds or roasts in the oven - basting is kind of comforting. And also, you have the wonderful smells coming out of the oven for quite a while.
 

Cachoo

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8,777
I want to be able to air fry AND I want to be able to duplicate Starbuck's egg bites so I think I need to have something that will sous vide as well. I'd love to have something that effectively does both.
 

mikey

...an acquired taste
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5,095
What do you make with an air fryer? And why is it better than, say, baking in a regular oven?

I bought an Instant Pot because everyone was going ga-ga over them and I was intrigued by recipes saying "cook for 6 minutes." In reality, though, I find that you don't really end up saving that much time (many recipes require prep before things go into the pressure cooker, then it takes 15 minutes to get up to pressure, then the cook time, and more for the pressure release, etc.). I haven't found many recipes that actually like either- one pot roast recipe that I like, a good mac and cheese recipe, and a recipe for King Ranch casserole. Aside from that, I'm not impressed and I don't want to go down that road again with an air fryer if it's just another fad.
 

Japanfan

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24,811
I must be really old-fashioned, but I feel no need for an air fryer. Traditional cooking methods work just fine for me. I enjoy the rituals of roasting birds or roasts in the oven - basting is kind of comforting. And also, you have the wonderful smells coming out of the oven for quite a while.

I'll add that I prefer foods fried the traditional way. If I couldn't eat fried foods, I think I would use a traditional cooking alternative. Of course, I may be missing something. Never did subscribe to food trends like the convection oven. Just don't have room in my small kitchen.

I'm reminded of the offerings of some vegetarian restaurants - vegetarian food made to look like meat. For example, caulifouer shaped like a chicken wing.

If it walks like a cauliflouer and talks like a caulifouer, it's probably a caulifouer.

I just don't understand what pleasure vegetarians get from having their food presented in a 'meat' form.
 

jeffisjeff

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16,343
Seems logical. I guess since I have never deep fried anything in my life, I won't be needing an air fryer!
We never deep fry anything, but use the air fryer pretty frequently. It is great for heating up frozen food (like fries, chicken strips and various other frozen appetizer kind of things, like mozzarella sticks or potato skins) that you might normally do in the oven. Apparently, you can even use it for frozen pizza, but the sizing has to be right. We most often use it to roast potatoes (either the mini ones or full baked potatoes) and vegetables.
 

Japanfan

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24,811
Seems logical. I guess since I have never deep fried anything in my life, I won't be needing an air fryer!

Deep frying takes so much oil, it gets expensive. I tried it a few times, then gave up on it. I fry in the traditional way, in a fry pan on the stove. Works like a charm.

If I hanker for deep fried food, I go to KFC.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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34,480
What does the meat smell like when it's cooking in an air fryer? I can't cook meat in our kitchen because my roommate, who owns the house, doesn't want to smell animal flesh cooking. (Our [outdoor] gas grill died, and I'm not assembling a new one without adult supervision.)
 

Lemonade20

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
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1,903
I have the Pampered Chef air fryer and I love it. It’s very convenient in that it is like a mini convection oven. My MIL used hers all the time as she doesn’t cook anymore and it is perfect for her. Mine is also a rotisserie, and I can roast vegetables, make steaks, and so much more.

There truly is a lot out there, but ask yourself: what will you be using it for, and how often do you plan on using it? The right AF is a game changer.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
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24,053
I just bought the Ninja AF101, a 4 quart model that‘s small enough to put away between uses. It was Consumer Reports #2 recommendation. It’s normally $99, but I see a lot of Black Friday promotions as low as $75.
 

A.H.Black

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2,937
Here's the reason I would like to have an air fryer. I cannot enjoy foods like french fries, fried chicken, etc. because the oil, butter and fat disagree with me. If I had an air fryer, I might be able to put those kinds of things back into my diet - and make them fit in with my eating plan.

I wish Matryeshka luck. Please let us know which one you end up buying.
 

Japanfan

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24,811
Here's the reason I would like to have an air fryer. I cannot enjoy foods like french fries, fried chicken, etc. because the oil, butter and fat disagree with me. If I had an air fryer, I might be able to put those kinds of things back into my diet - and make them fit in with my eating plan.

I wish Matryeshka luck. Please let us know which one you end up buying.

Do air fried foods actually taste similar to real fried foods?
 

Japanfan

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24,811
It’s more crispy than in an oven but not quite deep fried crispy if that makes sense

It does but is kind of hard to imagine. In any case I won't be getting an air fryer, I am averse to getting a lot of kitchen appliances in general, not only because I have limited space in my cupboard. My food processor and crock pot are enough for me, and those are the only appliances I have.

I'll also note, food can become quite crispy in an oven.

Mr. Japanfan and I both like to cook. We don't need the latest kitchen gadget to cook wonderful meals.
 

flyingsit

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12,015
An air fryer is basically a small convection oven, I think. So a minimal amount of oil combines with hot air circulation to create a crisp exterior.
 

Spikefan

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1,583
We had to throw ours out as it started smoking out of all areas (likely an electric element burned out as the food inside was not burned). I unplugged and ran outside with it. I do have bad luck with kitchen appliances. The electric coils in my oven caught fire and a coffee maker had an electric fire. I stopped pre-programming my coffee after that.
 

SHARPIE

Administrator
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We have had a. Tefal one for 7 years and it gets used almost daily.
 

Spikefan

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Messages
1,583
Yes, thankfully it happened as I was getting ready to put cookies in. There was a zapping sound and then the coils were on fire. I closed the door, turned it off and ran out of the house to call 911. By he time they got here it had put itself out but the whole bottom of the oven was burned. It was very terrifying. We know someone who had it happen with the heating coils in their dishwasher.
 

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